In the rapidly changing beauty landscape, the name Oladupe has been on everyone’s lips. Innovation draws in imitators. Olaplex, a pioneering force in the haircare industry, encountered its fair share of copycats, particularly on TikTok. The hashtag #olaplexdupe racked up a staggering 30.4 million views.
However, a recent revelation has allowed Olaplex to have the last laugh. It came to light that the viral TikTok sensation, originally believed to be a knockoff of Olaplex, was, in fact, none other than Olaplex’s own exceptional No. 3 Hair Perfector.
This intriguing twist of events has led us to delve into Olaplex’s ingenious marketing campaign, shedding light on the ever-evolving beauty industry and the clever strategies employed by this innovative brand.
Olaplex is the genuine article, a brand that is truly ‘undupable,’ and the cornerstone of this distinction lies in our unparalleled technology, which remains unrivalled in the industry.”JuE Wong, Chief Executive Officer of Olaplex
Olaplex or Oladupe: Pioneering Bond Repair
Back in 2014, Olaplex made a grand entrance, introducing a groundbreaking concept to the beauty world – bond repair. At that time, the general public had no clue about hair bonds, let alone how to pronounce the brand’s unique Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate molecule.
The brand catapulted into the limelight, largely thanks to early adopter Kim Kardashian. Olaplex’s promise was straightforward yet revolutionary: the transition from dark to peroxide blonde would no longer come at the expense of hair health. Even those with damaged hair could anticipate restoration. Unlike standard hair repair masks that merely gloss over damaged strands, Olaplex’s molecule delved deep into the hair, latching onto damaged disulfide bonds and reviving them from the inside out.
Fast forward nine years, and bond-building has emerged as a thriving hair care category in its own right. The market is going to be worth $264.1 million by 2028. Consequently, the search term “Hair Dupes for Olaplex” has seen a parallel surge in interest, boasting a staggering 4.7 million views on TikTok.
Even budget-conscious shoppers at Aldi have joined the bond-repair bandwagon, as the store shelves products that bear a striking resemblance to Olaplex, all at a budget-friendly price of £3.49.
Olaplex’s Cunning Marketing Campaign: The Clap Back
In the beauty industry, established brands often cite their biggest irritations as the low-cost imitations that exploit the originality and scientific achievements of the pioneers. In a stroke of brilliance, Olaplex introduced the fictitious Oladupe No.160, sporting the tagline “The only genuine Olaplex dupe.”
The number 160 in Oladupe’s name pays homage to Olaplex’s 160 patents. In a playful twist, consumers were directed to Oladupe.com. The first 160 registrants were promised a complimentary bottle of Oladupe, which, to their surprise, turned out to be none other than Olaplex No.3. The veil of humor was lifted, and the message became abundantly clear. Olaplex, it turns out, had ventured into the world of dupes, with their own product.
JuE Wong, Chief Executive Officer of Olaplex, provided clarity on this strategic move through a press statement: “This campaign tapped into the cultural zeitgeist, meeting consumers where they are and playfully educating them on the one-of-a-kind and proven repair and strengthening benefits of our bond-building technology, which cannot be copied or duped.”
Unveiling Oladupe: The Not-So-Classic Dupe
In the midst of this flurry of dupe products, celebrity ‘duper’ Taylor Madison introduced Oladupe as “the first ever genuine Olaplex dupe.”
She exclaimed enthusiastically, “I love Olapex, so I’m really excited to try this.”
After using the product on her own hair, Taylor enthusiastically remarked, “Automatically, it is so much healthier-looking and shiny.”
The Emergence of Dupe Culture and Olaplex’s Response
While imitation can be flattering, Oladupe stands out as a response to the prevalent dupe culture. Consumers grapple with the desire to invest in quality products, or in this case, find a cheaper alternative; a counterfeit. This is particularly prevalent among Gen Z and millennials,
To emphasise the message that consumers need to exercise discernment when encountering dupes, Olaplex’s CEO, JuE Wong, took a bold step. Wong created a deepfake video of herself. In this, she revealed the true nature of the campaign, while also demonstrating how easily consumers can be misled.
While platforms like TikTok are teeming with dupe culture, Olaplex has emerged as a pillar of trustworthiness. Olaplex proves that not all dupes can be relied upon.
While imitation is the highest form of flattery, we wanted to inject some humor into the realisation that the Olaplex brand can be imitated but never replicated,”JuE Wong, Chief Executive Officer of Olaplex
Olaplex’s Oladupe No.160 campaign is a testament to the brand’s unwavering commitment to innovation and the integrity of its pioneering technology. In the ever-evolving landscape of beauty, Olaplex reaffirms that while some things may be imitated, true excellence remains beyond replication.
The brand’s marketing ingenuity has not only educated consumers about the value of their unique bond-building technology but also playfully dismantled the illusion of being easily duped in the world of beauty.
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